Funding for your support
Funding your additional support - Disabled Student Allowances
As a student with a disability, you may be eligible for a Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). DSAs are intended to cover any extra costs or expenses that arise because of your disability while studying. You can apply for a DSA if you have a diagnosed physical, sensory, unseen medical condition, long term health conditions, MH condition, Autistic Spectrum condition or a Specific Learning difficulty such as dyslexia.
DSAs are grants rather than loans, you will not have to repay them when you have graduated. They are not classed as income so they do not affect state benefits..
What do DSAs pay for?
DSAs will pay for study-related support, including specialist equipment and extra travel costs, and some other course-related costs. You may also be entitled to help towards the costs of non-medical helpers, to help you overcome the effect of your disability on your studies. More information is available about the charges:
DSAs do not pay for:
- Costs a student would have incurred whether or not they were at university
- Non-disability related costs incurred by all students on a particular course.
How do I apply for a Disabled Students' Allowance?
Please complete a DSA form; these can be downloaded from your funding authority web pages. You should apply to the authority that have provided your general student funding. Please click on these links to take you to the main funding authorities
- Student Finance England
- Students Awards agency for Scotland
- Student Finance Wales
- Student Finance Northern Ireland
- NHS Bursaries
- Research councils
When your funding body has processed your application, they will send you a confirmation letter requesting you to arrange a Study Needs Assessment. To arrange a Study Needs Assessment contact an Assessment Centre through the Disabled Students Allowances Quality Assurance Group.
To book an appointment at our centre, contact us on:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 3495
What evidence will I need?
If you are physically disabled, or have a sensory impairment, a long-term medical condition or a mental health difficulty, you will need to provide medical evidence of your condition, such as a letter from your doctor or an appropriate specialist. The medical evidence should state the nature of your disability and should explain how the condition affects you on a daily basis. To try to make the process easier for students, Student Finance England (SfE) have developed a form to take to your GP or other medical professional. The form asks all the relevant questions.
Students with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia will need to provide evidence of the condition in the form of a diagnostic assessment from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher. Additional guidance on the assessment required for a DSA application is available from the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC).